There were significant changes that occurred in women’s clothing styles between the war years of the 1940s and the 1950s. The conservative, tailored, sobriety of the earlier decade gave way to a lush glamour in the later one. This was largely due to the influence of the French couturier Christian Dior whose fashion house helped to put Paris firmly back at the center of the fashion world in the post-war years beginning in 1947 with the introduction of his first collection Corolle, or the botanical term “corolla”, translated as a “circlet of flower petals” in English. Dubbed the “New Look” by Carmel Snow editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar magazine Dior’s silhouettes captured the imaginations of fashionable women. Although there was initial push back from some segments of the market, i.e. those women who preferred shorter skirts and fewer strictures in styling, Dior’s ultra-feminine, wasp-waisted, voluptuous designs came to define the world of women’s fashions for much of the 1950s.
Developed by Guest Curator, James Hanley
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